150th Anniversary of the Consecration of St Fin Barre’s Cathedral Cork

The last day of this month – 30th November 2020 – will be the 150th anniversary of the Consecration of one of Cork’s, indeed of one of Ireland’s, most iconic buildings:  Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork.

Originally a day of celebration was planned for the previous day, Sunday 29th November, with invited guests from the Diocese and the City, as well as national and international representatives.  ‘Clearly this is no longer possible’ said the Dean of Cork, the Very Reverend Nigel Dunne.  ‘But that will not deter us’, he added.

A whole year of thanksgiving and celebration was mapped out and now the plans have been adapted and, depending on the public health realities, will evolve as the year goes on.

The Bishop of Cork, Dr Paul Colton, says that he hopes that Cork people and Irish people will pick up the story of Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral:

This isn’t only about celebrating the place the iconic three spires and golden angel have on the landscape of Cork.  It is about what the site itself represents and the role the Cathedral has played in the life of people of faith, in Cork generally and on the national stage too.

While the anniversary itself on 30th November will be marked now in a necessary low key way, an adapted programme of events for the year will include:

  • To coincide with All Saints, All Souls and Remembrance, the Cathedral will be open for personal prayer next Saturday 7th November from 11.00am-1.00pm and 2.00pm-4.00pm with an opportunity in particular to light candles in memory of those who have died this  year of Covid-19.
  • Bishop Paul Colton will celebrate the Eucharist in the Cathedral on Sunday 29th November at 11.15am without a congregation but it will be broadcast online on the Cathedral website.
  • A video launch of the Cathedral Choir’s new CD  – Let all the world in every corner sing – will take place.
  • On the CD is a recording of the winning composition by composer Nicholas O’Neill of a setting in B flat of the canticles for Evensong:  Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis. The first live performance has had to be rescheduled.
  • A limited edition Annie West print celebrating the Cathedral’s consecration will be available to purchase.
  • Bishop Colton has written and compiled a resource for children and young people to mark the 150th anniversary and this will be available in hard copy as  well as online for use in schools (at all levels) and in children’s and youth groups, and for families at home.
  • Two exhibitions will be mounted of photographs; one of the demolition of the former Cathedral, and another from a family album owned by Bishop Robert Gregg, son of Bishop John Gregg showing the completed new cathedral.  The album, discovered by Bishop Paul and Mr Susan Colton,  includes a drawing – a doodle sketch – done by the cathedral architect, William Burges, for Bishop Gregg’s grandson, Jack, as a child.
  • Other planned events, depending on the prevailing public health situation, may be rescheduled.

Further information from:

Saint Fin  Barre’s Cathedral Office

Library House, Dean Street, Cork, T12 V348

Telephone:  021 496 3387   

Email:   sfb150th@gmail.com

St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork at the time of the Consecration on30th November 1870
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